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Women from the Former USSR

At the end of 2002 I chanced to stumble on a dating site for Russian women (I am using here the term russian loosely to indicate all the "European" nations of the former Soviet Union), and discovered an unsuspected and rather interesting world.

These sites numbered more than 500 and varied in size. What makes them substatially different from similar sites based in other countries, which may in turn include women from Russia, is:

  • The preponderance of the Russian female component
  • The total absence of Russian men
  • The possible presence of non-Russian but Euopean/American men

Russian Women Looking for a Foreign Mate

Who are these women on the average queste donne (numbers below are based on a sample of some 600 women from some 130 different sites)?

Russian Women Looking For A Man For
  • Aged: 20-35
  • Religion : Orthodox (80 %)
  • Foreign Language : some (usually poor English)
  • Marital Status : single (65 %), divorced (35 %)
  • Children : No (65 %), Yes (35 %)
  • Smoker : No (98 %), Yes (2 %)
  • Drinker : Occasional (62 %), No (30 %), Yes (2 %)
  • Aged : more mature (80 %)
  • Requirements:
    • No bad habits (it took me some time to understand that this means : not a drunkard)
    • Sense of humour
    • Financially secure
  • Nationality : European or American
  • Romantic love, twin soul
  • Long-term relationship or marriage (80 %)
  • Home, family and children

In other words, an approach reminding of our 1950s when family was still a primary objective and emigration was hope for a better life. This is probably due to the conditions now prevailing in Russia, worse than those then in Europe:

  • Financial difficulties
  • Low consumer levels
  • Uncertainty for the future

Basic Russian female names, not counting graphical variants, nicknames, etc. are about 120.The most frequently used are:

Tatiana, Elena, Natalia, Irina, Olga, Yulia, Svetlana.

This has a curious consequence: possibly due to their smaller number of cars, Russian women often exhibit fine legs!

In my very personal opinion, the best lookers can be found in the 24-32 y.o. age bracket. In other words, it is more difficult to find good-looking 40-50 year-olds, again as was the case for European women in the 1950s. Russian women ofter look 5 years older than their stated age, probably for their worse living conditions.

In fact, capitalism took roots in Russia in its most ruthless variant. A 37-y.o. Russian friend of mine, secretary to the Managing Director of a private company, told me in 2005 that she was entitled to:

  • A monthly salary of US$ 480
  • 2 weeks of paid vacations per year, regardless of seniority
  • Paid sick leave only if exhibiting a First Aid certificate, which is granted only to people running a high fever

All this in what was once called the Workers' Paradise.

Dating Sites

As in other contries, Russian sites too are basically:

  • A database of profiles and photos

available for consultation as an album with miniphotos (thumbnails) and a minimum of personal data, with various alternatives:

Photo Album Personal Data
  • Complete
  • Organised by age groups
  • With a separate section for new additions
  • Through a search engine
  • Code
  • Name
  • Age
  • City/State
  • Height/Weight
  • Colour of eyes/hair

Consultation is usually free of charge, or subject to a visitor's registration also usually free. Selection of a miniphoto leads to the corresponding profile showing larger photos and more detailed information. Photos are often retouched or from an earlier age, to make subjects more appealing.

These sites are usually in English, but some are multi-lingual (German, French, Spanish, Italian) thus confirming Russian womens' interest in meeting foreigners.

Site sizes vary from a minimum of 15 to a maximum of 80,000 profiles, averaging about 3,000 profiles per site.

Some sites are organised as a collective, cooperating entity. For example, the Hanuma group includes: Army Of Brides, One In A Million, A Pretty, All Pretties, Brides In Bikini, 1 Love For You, 1st Russian Bride, Best Russian Bride, Your Brides, A Bride From Ukraine, A Bride From Russia, Your Bride Ru, Sexy Ukraine Russian Women, Amazing Women, Candy Brides, Lucky Dating, Babes Fo Macho, My Bride Ru, Best Bride Ru, Beauty Brides, Tornado Of Love, Tsunami Of Love, Order Brides, E Mail Order Brides, Letter Order Brides, Russian Brides, Ukraine Brides, City Meeting, Meet Me Free, Single Men ?lub, Single Brides, Single Pretties.

Many sites, like Anastasia Date, rely on local 'feeder' agencies to acquire new profiles, then shared with any other sister sites - some local agencies entice the active cooperation of girls with offers of free professional photo sessions, and paid jobs as fake letter writers and chatters.


The sites I visited up to 2006 (see list on another page) contained a total of more than 1,200,000 profiles, i.e. about 1% of the entire Russian female population - the nation with the highest percentage of profiles is now Ukraine.

Adding a profile can be free or for a charge, and is done:

  • Male profile : directly on-line
  • Female profile : directly on-line, or more often through marriage agencies connected to the sites

Profile information can be very detailed. Profiles and photos are often subject to inspection by site masters before publication. E-mail addresses usually cannot be seen, to prevent direct contacts and loss of revenue.

An FSU woman often has several profiles on different sites to improve her exposure : I noted that 40% of them had on average 3.8 profiles (one case has 35 profiles on 30 different sites). Although multiple exposure should improve their mating opportunities, over the years I have seen profiles of the same women appearing with gradually increasing ages, meaning that they are either more discriminating or less lucky in their quest.

Contacting an FSU Woman

Once you have come across a really interesing profile, it is time to get in touch with your woman through one of the alternatives made available:

  • E-mail address
  • Postal address
  • Fixed/mobile telephone number

Acquiring this information is normally subject to some form of payment:

  • Fixed amount per single address
  • Increasing amount for multiple addresses
  • Membership for a fixed period of time (often automatically renewed)

Payment is usually via credit card through an independent operator for transaction security.

Some paying sites may offer free of charge:

  • The very first contact (as incentive to continue)
  • A limited number of addresses ("desperate" cases of women with few or no contacts)

A first contact may evolve into a voluminous correspondence and later a direct meeting, usually in Russia since their economic conditions seldom permit Russian women to travel abroad. In addition, travelling to EEC countries even as tourists is subject to complicated and costly visa procedures, basically aimed at ensuring that the traveller is self-supporting, intends to return to her home country and is not trying a sneaky immigration.


Many sites offer a free subscription to the distribution list of their regular update newsletters showing newly acquired profiles. These newsletters are sent to your indicated e-mail address and can be:

  • Simple lists
  • Albums of thumbnails
  • Links to the corresponding website pages

In some cases a newsletter may include your personal matches, i.e. women's profiles satisfying supplied mating criteria.

Sources of Site Revenues

Creating and maintaining an Internet site is a costrly operation, therefore most sites rely on various schemes to gain revenue. They may charge to provide one or more of the following services:

  • Accepting profiles
  • Viewing profiles
  • Viewing additional profile photos
  • Providing contact information
  • Forwarding inter-personal communications
  • Translating inter-personal communications into/from Russian
  • Reading inter-personal communications received
  • Match-making proposals
  • Organisation of visits/tours/miscellanous social events
  • Showing advertising banners


Although site operators are always reassuring about their consciensciousness, some problems may occur:

  1. Spam: even if most sites state that they safeguard the privacy of their subscribers, after joining them one is often submerged by unwanted e-mails usually promoting:
    • Revitalising/rejuvenating/virilising medications
    • Adult/porn sites
  2. Scammers: some women use their foreign contacts to express very quickly their irresistible attraction and immediately thereafter their need for some financial support, using various justifications (paying for communications, visas, travel tickets, etc.), obviously vanishing into thin air once they have received some money.
  3. Part-time professionals: some women have explicit financial rather than romantic interests, on a part-time or semi-amateur basis. Certain sites provide specific sections for them or more or less explicit qualifying definitions such as Financial Help, Escort Services, Intimate/Physical, Adult.
  4. Full-time professionals: some sites unknowingly include women who are also offering professional sex services on other types of sites.

Case 3 is often evidenced by scantily-clad women's photos. A dating site with no profile-screening policy may invite visitors to report directly any suspicious profiles.

A new breed of part-time professionals has appeared recently: girls offering their company in exchange for a fully-paid vacation.

Case 4 is fortunately infrequent but difficult to spot unless also visiting professional sites and comparing the photos found there with those appearing on normal dating sites. A list of the cases I discovered is available on a separate page.

A good source of advice on the general subject of dating Russian women is the Russian Women Discussion Forum (RWD).

The RWD website contains a Scammer Score Card for a evaluation of dating candidates, and an Agency Score Card for an assessment of dating agencies.

A digest of the most significant contributions made to this Forum over the past 5 years is included in my E-book Men of the West, Women from the East, which RWD members can freely download.

The exhaustiveness of its coverage, ranging from initial contacts to eventual marriage and acclimatisation, can be appreciated by having a look at its Table of Contents below:


  • CHAPTER 1 - WHY ?
    • Why are men and women from such different parts of the world seeking, meeting and even marrying each other ?
    • Western Men (WM)
    • Eastern Women (EW)
    • Conclusions
  • CHAPTER 2 - WHOM ?
    • How Do WM Select EW ?
    • Western Men
    • Eastern Women
    • Are You Really up to the Challenge ?
    • Conclusions
  • CHAPTER 3 - HOW ?
    • How Can WM Contact EW ?
    • International Marriage Broker Agencies and Websites
    • Western Men
      • Selecting EW's Profiles
        • EW's Photos
        • EW's Age
        • EW's Children
        • EW's Occupation
        • EW's Religion
    • One or Many ?
    • Interpreting EW's Profiles
    • Posting Your Profile
    • Eastern Women
      • Scammers and Other Perils
      • Double Dealers
      • Others
    • From Theory to Practice - A Condensed Case History
    • Conclusions
  • CHAPTER 4 - WHAT ?
    • Communicating with Your Selected EW
    • General Guidelines
    • Your First Letter
    • Her First Letter
    • Moving on to More Direct Communications
      • Phone Calls
      • Chats
      • Traditional Mail
    • For How Long ?
    • Conclusions
    • Meeting Your Selected EW
      • Your EW Visiting You in Your Country
      • Meeting Your EW in a Third Country
      • Your Visiting Your EW in Her Country
      • Her Home Town or Elsewhere ?
    • Actually Meeting, at Last !
      • Her Body Language
      • Is a Knowledge of Russian Necessary ?
    • What if Things Go Wrong ?
    • If Things Go Well
    • Conclusions
  • CHAPTER 6 - THEN ?
    • Marrying and Settling Down with Your EW
    • Marrying in Your Country
      • Pre-nuptial Agreements
    • Marrying in Her Country
      • Documents
    • Settling Down
    • Your Very First Few Days Together
    • Independence
      • Communications
      • Starting an Activity
      • Moving Around
      • Making Local Friends
      • Keeping Her Ties
      • Managing Family Finances
    • Conclusions
    • Is This Worth All the Trouble?

    • Navigating through this E-Book
    • Russian Women Discussion (RWD)
    • Tips on How to Punch Out the Crisis
    • RWD's Ten Commandments
    • Russglish Glossary
    • IMBRA
    • Scammer Scorecard
    • Locating an FSU Street Address
    • Visiting the FSU
    • Celebrating Christmas and the New Year in Ukraine/Russia
    • RWD's Cross-Cultural Marriage Survey
    • US Visa Legislation
    • Getting Married in Russia and Ukraine
    • An FSU Photo Gallery
    • Opinions and Experiences of RWD Members:
      • Be Honest: Why Are You Looking for a Woman in the FSU ?
      • Street-Smart Here and There
      • In Defense of Russian Men
      • Why EW May Want to Leave the FSU
      • Why Would EW Look for WM Mates?
      • Why Do EW Prefer WM?
      • While You Wait
      • EW's Complaints about WM Courting Them
      • Introductory Letters from EW
      • Wake up, Delusional WM!
      • John and Olga's Story
      • Tom's Train Wreck
      • Have a Good Row !
      • A Different Language Environment
      • A Day at RAGS, Simferopol
      • A Traditional FSU Marriage Ritual
      • "Handle with Care!"
      • FSU Toilets - A Survival Guide
      • WM Driving in the FSU

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